Microwave expert Samuel Kingman awarded Beilby Medal and Prize

24 June 2011

The 2011 winner of the Beilby Medal and Prize is Dr Samuel Kingman, who is Professor of Process Engineering and head of department at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Nottingham.

A world leader in the application of microwaves to chemical and materials processing, Dr Kingman has a BSc in minerals engineering from Leeds, and a PhD from the Minerals Engineering Division in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham. In the last three years, he has commercialised three technologies and licensed applications from multi-kilo to multiton scale. Each of these applications results in large energy savings compared with current technologies. The most impressive, perhaps, is the exfoliation of vermiculite where the energy savings are 95%.

Dr Kingman's approach to new applications of microwaves is characterised by an initial fundamental study to establish the microwave absorption properties of that particular system, followed by a custom design of reactor or plant matched to those properties. He has repeatedly succeeded in developing large-scale processes, which had previously defied viable scale-up. As a result, he has overcome a key barrier in making microwaves a credible alternative in areas where they had never previously been applied.

The Beilby Medal and Prize recognises work of exceptional practical significance in chemical engineering, applied materials science, energy efficiency or a related field. The Medal and Prize commemorate Sir George Beilby FRS, President of SCI (1898-99), the Institute of Chemistry (1909-12) and the Institute of Metals (1916-1918) and founding Chairman of the Fuel Research Board (more).

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